Sunday, June 19, 2011

Border Patrol

As I make my rounds of the garden each day, I become more and more aware that it is a garden of borders.  I don't have room anymore for islands or berms so borders frame the small amount of grass that I have.

There is a border of roses, Knockouts and Pink Meidiland, phlox, lilies and daylilies, daisies and other perennials that keep this going throughout the summer.

On the sitting side of the patio Green Velvet boxwood is enhanced by coleus and sweet potatio vine spilling over the raised bed.  These plantings do not draw bees or other insects.  An outside fan on the patio keeps the mosquitos at bay.

Pathways are important to lead you into the border and in some cases even have a place to sit and relax.

I am on another small pathway taking this photo, not enough room to sit but it allows me to get into the garden.

To keep it interesting it is nice to have highs and lows in the border.  The south side is a very hot area during the summer so the plantings have to be appropriate.

I changed the plantings this year to zinnias, crotons that I wintered over, sedum, daylilies and coneflowers.  The clematis and Eupatorium Chocolate also do well in the heat.  There is still some veronica here that has survived, but most of the perennials I have tried have not been able to take the heat.

The front south border does not get the relection of the heat from the house so it is much easier to grow and keep watered the perennials that thrive here.

Little Henry's Garnet Sweetspire faces southeast and for the first year in seven is going to bloom profusely.  Don't you just love all that bulb foliage, I always hate it this time of year!

I used a systemic on it last year and again this spring along with feeding it an acidic fertilizer (read that it prefers an acid soil).  So, I guess we'll keep this one.

Little Henry you've got a reprieve!

Groundcovers help a great deal in regard to weeds and water retention.  This is Blue Dart Myrtle in the front areas.

The front borders are more subtle with splashes of color not masses.  Soon, the daylilies and lilies will be blooming along with the heuchera, astilbe and hosta.  Lirope is the ground cover in this part shade bed under the Chanticleer Pear tree.

My Endless Summer Hydrangeas actually have quite a few flower heads this year.  Let's see if they can repeat their first show.

Wintercreeper is a border across from Endless Summer, suffered from scale, dormant sprayed and treated with a systemic.  It looks good so far. hate to lose it because it turns a beautiful crimson color in the fall.

The astilbes are about ready to bloom on the north side.

This north side border does get morning sun, as you can see, and the baskets at the top of the fence get even more sun later in the day.  It took me awhile to figure out the planting scheme.  The bleeding hearts take up a lot of room but when they begin to yellow I can cut them down.

I guess even my vegetable garden is a border along the driveway but my most surprising border is beyond my back garden, outside the fence and beyond the gate.

The Alley Garden

Borders do not have to be masses of flowering perennials and annuals.  They can be just interesting in various tones of green, interspaced with darker leaf colors and grasses. 


Netty said...

Your plants are so happy they are spilling out into the alley :)

Bernie said...

Just fabulous, Eileen. If there's one thing I would love to be able to do at this place is create borders and garden beds with loads of fabulous perennials. You've created a beautiful garden and I don't think islands or berms would anything extra to your creation.

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Your borders are breathtaking! How much you have done in so little space. I am impressed. xo Jenny

Karen said...

Thank you for taking us along on your Border Patrol, Eileen! What a beautiful collection of borders it is, too. Your roses are phenomenal, I can almost smell their fragrance from here.

I also loved looking at your previous post of container gardens, wonderful combinations.

Raining here again today, I don't think we'll ever get that formal garden wall installed.

Zoey said...

I love your borders, Eileen. Is that Heuchera 'Caramel' I see in the front border?

...An outside fan on the patio keeps the mosquitos at bay.
wow, this is genius! I must try that the next time I want to sit out on the deck when those bloodsuckers keep attacking me.

Little Henry's Garnet Sweetspire is new to me...he is so unique. I would love to have one.

I just moved two Endless summer hydrangeas a few hours ago. I have had them for three years and they have barely grown and no flowers last year. Do you do anything special to make yours so nice?

I agree that paths through the garden make it so much more enjoyable (as well as easier to maintain).

I wish you were my neighbor so I could personally walk through those gardens!

Grace said...

My favorite kind of border patrol. The photos of your borders are total eye candy. What a beautiful garden you have. Looks like 'Betty Corning' clemmy in the third photo. Love it. Mine isn't quite blooming yet.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Netty,

I worry sometimes that the plants will get run over.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Bernie,

I sometimes wish for more property but I know I would just plant it out to the edges.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Jenny thanks,

I am amazed at your travels and how easily you live between two countries.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Karen,

It is very warm here again today with rain tonight. It is difficult to get things done in the garden when it is too hot or raining.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

The paths in the garden was an idea from Gordon Hayward, Art And The Gardener, who said to look at your hand with the palm as your grass area and the fingers as paths into your garden.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Gracce,

That is Betty Corning and still under control. I have heard from other gardeners that it can be wuite aggressive.


Sissy said...

Thank you so much for the tour! Your gardens are lovely. Do you treat your Endless summer with anything to turn them blue? I started last summer, anxious to see how it turns out!

garden girl said...

Your borders are beautiful Eileen! This looks to be a great season for the astilbes with all the rain we've had.

Teresa Marie said...

Border Smorder - whatever you call it, you've done a nice job. Your clematis is so awesome. Do you use fertilizer often? I've moved mine around and for the first time in 5+ years, it finally bloomed this year :)

Teresa Marie

Lona said...

Eileen your borders and beds are so beautiful. The Sweetspire is such a pretty plant in bloom. I love the Begonias around them. I cannot grow them and it miffs me. LOL! The Boxwood along the patio look so wonderful there. How do you keep them trimmed so beautifully? Your Knockouts are sure putting on a show now. Beautiful!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Sissy,

I use an organic acid fertilizer on my hydrangeas, some still are pink and some blue.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks GG,

My Astilbes look great this year, just hope it doesn't heat up to dry them up.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Thresa,

I usually wait too long to move things but I have moved some clematis several times. They do need to be fertilized with a general purpose, not too high in nitrogen.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Lona,

I usually trim the boxwoods once per year before July and it keeps them within bounds.


Cottage Garden said...

Your garden is absolutely beautiful Eileen. I love it! Those boxwood balls - stunning!


Becca's Dirt said...

Love your garden paths. Your place is filled up and you are right - seems that the grass is framed by so much beauty.

joey said...

Always in awe when I visit, Eileen. You are so good about keeping up and sharing. Shame on me :( Happy Summer :)

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Eileen,
Yesterday, I was simply eaten alive in the garden. The only time mosquitoes give me a reprieve is when the wind comes up. I remarked, half joking to my husband, that I wish I had a big fan to blow them away. It was interesting therefore to read that you use an overhead fan on your patio to keep them at bay. I will keep this in mind when we create our patio area.
Your garden is so neat that you put me to shame. I love the shot along the fence and also the one of the front garden. You have such a nice mix of plants!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

You sure have lots of beauty at every turn! I see your grass is doing well in the alley.

Gatsbys Gardens said...


Thank you, I just trimmed the boxwood on time this year.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Becca,

I do need a little grass for Reggie!


Gatsbys Gardens said...


I am slowing down posting, so difficult to get all of the photos taken and uploaded.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


We were hit by a big storm so my garden is a little whipped right now.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


Thee grass does quite well in the alley. I have many Panicum Northwinds and they are lovely all fall and winter.


Lynn said...

Making the rounds in your garden would be a joy. Nice places to sit and enjoy the view. Are the purple flowers in the third image a clematis? I like how the flowers hang down like bells.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I loved the tour of your borders. You have so many interesting types of plants growing. I love your side yard gardens. I've still got bulb foliage dying back too, it's so tempting to just cut off, but I try to be good and leave it.

mrbrownthumb said...

Your garden is lovely! I especially liked the peak at that clematis. One of these days I'll plant one that nice.

Beth said...

Thanks for the tour, Eileen. I liked the walk-around so I could get a perspective on your gardens. They're beautiful!
Blessings, Beth

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lynn,

The blue flowers are Betty Corning clematis. Thanks for visiting.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Catherine,

I am so impatient each year to get rid of the bulb foliage even though I overplant to hide it. I don't want to give up those bulbs!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks MBT,

Actually, that peak very rarely shows but there was a storm and part of the clematis fell down and I didn't dare touch it at this point. I do like this trellis and it is a shame that most times trellis tops do not show.


Shirley @ The Gardening LIfe said...

Your gardens are so much further ahead than us here in Edmonton. Your Endless Summer Hydrangeas look terrific.

Thank goodness your garden was spared in the storm.